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Suggestions for Early Season Waters

Suggestions for Early Season Waters

by Sarah Graham

Many anglers are preparing for the opening of the new angling season on Saturday 7 August and it's shaping up to be another good one with the fishery in excellent health as a result of last year’s drought breaking rains. There are many great fishing locations around the State from which to choose for the opening weekend and early season fishing but here are a few suggestions.

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Great Lake - Fishing the waves

Shane Flude
As we go to print many of Tassie's rivers are still in flood, most of the major storages are filling nicely and a number of those dams on the Mersey/Forth and Derwent river systems have been spilling for two months. What all this means to the avid trout angler is that we are simply spoilt for choice of locations at the moment. Great Lake is one storage that has risen dramatically this year coming up almost four meters.

Lake Leake

Matt Byrne has fished Lake Leake consistently over the past 15 years and finds that despite its relatively central proximity to Launceston and Hobart, he rarely shares the lake with more than one or two other fishers! Here he gives a bit of incentive for anglers to explore this underrated and picturesque east coast water.

Echo Rising

Shane Flude adds to Greg French's Echo article. This was written right as TFBN went to press. Like Greg French Shane predicts this to be the "HOT" fishery right up to Christmas and beyond.

Lake Echo

By Greg French

In my opinion, Lake Echo is an even better wild brown trout fishery than the much revered Great Lake, yet it remains one of the most underrated waters in Tasmania. Perhaps this is the year that will change public perceptions once and for all. Why?

Springtime Fishing at Meadowbank Lake

by Greg French
For the last few years the Inland Fisheries Commission has overseen the release of Atlantic salmon into Meadowbank Lake. These fish are surplus brood stock supplied free of charge by Saltas and they typically weigh 4.5 - 8 kg when liberated. Domestic salmon which have spent their entire lives in a hatchery environment tend not to feed well in the wild (though they readily attack lures and wet flies) and initially there was concern that the fish might be unwelcome, especially if they were not caught quickly and became slabby. Anyway a trial release of 120 fish was undertaken in mid July 1997 and most were subsequently landed before Christmas, almost all in good to fair condition. As a consequence of enthusiastic support from anglers a further 175 fish were released in July 1998, yet another 200 or so in July 1999 and the salmon liberation looks like becoming an annual event.

Lake Barrington

Craig Rist
Approximately 16 kilometres long and rarely more than half a kilometre wide, Lake Barrington is a deep clear lake with mostly steep tree lined shores. The Hydro Electric Commission built three dams on the Forth River to form Lake Cethana, Lake Barrington and Paloona Dam. Lake Barrington is best known for its international rowing course and is a popular water skiing destination during summer. Over recent years the Inland Fisheries have transformed this lake into a viable fishing destination with it's extensive stocking program. The lake has a healthy population of rainbow and brown trout. Small rainbows up to 0.5 of a kilo can be very active, dominating the catch at times. The browns on the other hand can be a bit more elusive, but generally larger in size, some reaching well above double figures. Over the last five years, large ex-brood stock Atlantic salmon have been introduced into the Lake, some up to 30 pounds, testing the nerves of even the most seasoned anglers. The lake is one of the few in our State that is open to all forms of freshwater fishing throughout the year. A five fish per angler bag limit applies to Atlantic salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout with a minimum size of 300mm.

Great Lake Early Season Fly Fishing

Craig Rist
By the time July and August comes around, the browns in Great Lake are back in feeding mode, after spending the last couple of months spawning. Stick caddis, the Great Lake Shrimp and native galaxia and paragalaxias are highly sort after by these fish at this time. The galaxia and paragalaxias are small native fish that inhabit Great Lake. The majority of these inhabit the shallower margins of the lake; making shore based wet fly fishing a productive option. The colourations of these small native fish range from golden brown through to dark grey or black and are generally around 40 to 50 mm in length. Many trout, early in the season, find it hard to refuse a well-presented fly that even remotely resembles one of these fish.

Fishing Four Springs Lake

Todd Lambert
Early season
The new season is on us and with it comes the anticipation of another year's fishing. Will it be as good as last year - or maybe better?

Monster Arthurs Lake fish

Arthurs big fish

Highly skilled, well lucky really, Devonport angler and international celebrity John Lyons nearly had heart failure when he caught the first glimpse of this fish. Stripping a Black Woolly Bugger at Arthurs Lake on Saturday 16 October John thought he had just hooked another nice Arthurs Lake brownie. How wrong he was though as he spent a very tense and nervous time getting this 11.5 pound fish to the net.

Although John rarely goes fishing without a camera, but this time he did. A quick call to some mates had the cameras rolling and after an hour at the boat ramp showing off it was back to his shack for a few celebratory bevies.

Although big fish are uncommon at Arthurs a few are caught each year. Fish of four pounds are at the top end of what can be expected at Arthurs, six pounds is a very large fish, so 11.5 pounds is a fish of a lifetime. It is most likely the biggest Arthurs fish on fly for many years if not ever.      

Autumn on the Lakes

Joe Riley looks at the tail end of the trout season and encourages anglers to make the best of it. You can be sure he will.

As daylight savings comes to pass and the days grow cooler through autumn, winter approaches and the brown trout season draws to a close. All is not despair though as there are still fish to be caught, even the prospect of specimen dry fly fishing in the highland lakes on the warmer days. It's the last surge to make the most out of a season which has been challenged by water draw downs, blustery weather and controversy over one of the world's finest brown trout lakes coming under threat from irrigation schemes.

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